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‘Political uncertainty key challenge for businesses’

BUSINESS executives have indicated that political uncertainty is the major external policy-related challenge threatening their operations, a survey has revealed.

Kudzai Kuwaza

According to the survey by Industrial Psychology Consultants (IPC) titled Executive Views on Economic Challenges Survey Report, 96% of those who participated said political uncertainty is the major external policy-related challenge their business is facing today.

The other major external policy challenges pointed out by the participants are government policy inconsistency (95%), unfavourable regulatory environment (90%) and government spending (61%).

The four major external market challenges businesses face, the survey found, are foreign currency shortages (94%), low liquidity (93%), inflation (70%) and high interest rates (68%).

The four major internal challenges that organisations are facing in Zimbabwe are: poorly designed organisational structure (44%), poor remuneration (44%), lack of innovation (43%) and a dysfunctional culture not supportive of business goals (40%).

The survey found that the majority of the participants (50%) believe that the best option for the country with regards to currency issues is to demonetise the bond and return to a multi-currency regime without the bond. Of the participants, 38% urged the adoption of the South African rand, 10% called for the demonetisation of the bond note and promotion of plastic money usage while 3% advocated the bringing back of the Zimbabwean dollar.

The survey revealed that most of the participants (43%) are pessimistic about economic prosperity in 2017, while 16% are very pessimistic, 34% are optimistic and 7% very optimistic. More than 180 business executives were interviewed from various sectors of the economy, which include banking, mining, insurance, manufacturing and telecommunications.

“We believe that while continuously monitoring and lobbying for an improvement in the external policy and market-related issues, business should work on addressing and leveraging the internal factors as a source of competitive advantage and business continuity,” the IPC observed in its survey report. “Going into 2018, policy-makers must continue to engage business and labour with a view to improving the operating environment and general ease of doing business.”

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